The Governing Board of the Harmony Union School District is seeking as its next superintendent/principal an experienced, visionary educational leader with superior interpersonal and communication skills who will demonstrate an open, collaborative, inclusive management style. The current superintendent/principal is leaving after nine years of distinguished service.
The ideal candidate will be someone experienced in elementary and/or middle school education and operations, who will lead the district to the next level of achievement, while embracing and supporting all that has been done.
The new superintendent/principal will be highly visible and active in the district, as well as visible and involved in the community. She or he will also have the desire and ability to foster strong, cooperative relationships with all stakeholders. The person selected for this position will be someone of the highest integrity, who will work hard to build a culture of trust, respect, and success.
Founded in 1876, Occidental was a stop on the North Pacific Coast Railroad connecting Cazadero to the Sausalito ferry. In return for donating right-of-way to the railroad, a local landowner named “Dutch Bill” Howards received a lifetime railway pass, and the station was named after him. The railway caused a rapid expansion of the timber industry, so that by 1877 there were six sawmills in the Occidental area. Trains also brought vacationers from San Francisco, which is about seventy miles south of Occidental. It is a beautiful area nestled in rolling hills and redwoods. It is a great place to raise a family.
Harmony Union School District, with an Average Daily Attendance of approximately 238 students, is comprised of Harmony Elementary School (grades TK-1) and Salmon Creek Charter School (grades 2-8). The District also sponsors Pathways Charter School which serves approximately 400 students in grades K – 12. The district is located on a beautiful 56-acre campus just south of Occidental, in western Sonoma County (half-way between Occidental and Freestone).
Among the many amenities are an 8,000-volume library and Macintosh-equipped computer lab, which is in the center of the main building. Other campus buildings include a gymnasium, a LEED - platinum certified environmental education center which adds a state-of-the-art cafeteria, business office, conference room, and assembly hall to the campus facilities.
Four distinct ecological habitats co-exist on the campus: a year-round creek with waterfall and observation deck, an amazing redwood forest with a nature trail, perennial wetlands, grasslands, and a large (3/4-acre) working garden, including a straw bale greenhouse and outdoor classroom which students helped construct. The garden contributes fresh produce and serves as a major component to the lunch program.
Salmon Creek School is committed to offering students a Place Based Education. According to David Sobel, Place Based Learning is a process of using the local community and environment as a starting point to teach concepts in language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, and other subjects across the curriculum. Emphasizing hands-on, real-world learning experiences, this approach to education increases academic achievement, helps students develop stronger ties to their community, enhances students’ appreciation for the natural world and creates a heightened commitment to serving as active, contributing citizens.
The District has excellent academic opportunities supporting all students. The student population is 80% Caucasian, 15% Hispanic, and a few small percentages of other ethnicities. Approximately 48% of the students in the district are eligible for free or reduced meals. There are 16 certificated employees and 18 classified employees.
In addition to the superintendent/principal, there is a full-time Assistant Principal/Curriculum Coordinator, full-time business manager, full-time accounts clerk, full-time school counselor, and a .72 school librarian. Approximately 21% of the students are bused to school each day. Students transition from 8th grade to El Molino High School in the West Sonoma County School District.
The District’s $4,447,000 budget comes from both Local Control Funding Formula, Supplemental Basic Aid funds, and from the Pathways Charter entity. Although the District is forecast to deficit spend over the next several years, the 2018-19 Budget has a Positive Certification and there is a comfortable reserve.
The following criteria will be considered to identify candidates to be selected for an interview.
Teaching experience in the K - 8 grades
Experience as a principal in the K – 8 grades (with California Administrative Credential)
Administrative experience in a small, rural school district is a plus
Record of success working collaboratively with principals, faculty, and staff to increase the academic achievement of all students
History of ability to work well with a variety of individuals and groups (school board, teachers, other school employees, students, parents, community members, etc.)
Understanding of, and experience with, the latest advances in technology to optimize 21stCentury teaching and learning
Experience with budget and school finance, especially the Local Control Funding Formula LCFF), Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), and Supplemental Basic Aid funding would be a plus
Record of success with employee contract negotiations is desired
Knowledge/experience with Place Based Education and Learning would be a plus
A leader who is active and visible in the district and the community
An environmental steward
A visionary leader who understands and supports the climate and culture in a small, rural school district and community
An honest, ethical leader who consistently demonstrates the highest levels of integrity
A good listener who genuinely listens to, respects, and considers the input and perspectives of others
A transparent leader who will foster and maintain a climate of trust
A leader who is an excellent communicator both verbally and in writing
A strong leader who knows and uses excellent conflict management skills
A leader who will have longevity in the District
Any questions about the position or the application procedure should be directed solely to the District’s advisor:
Dr. Scott Mahoney
All applications must be submitted on Edjoin at Edjoin.org (search Harmony Union School District Superintendent starting April 1). Only well-written applications with all required attachments will be considered. Applications with comments such as “see resume” or ones that are mailed or faxed will not be considered.
Complete applications must be submitted at Edjoin.org by 4:00 pm on April 26th. The Edjoin application process requires:
Uploading a brief letter indicating the qualifications and experiences you have had that will serve the Harmony Union School District
Uploading a current resume
Uploading at least three (3) current letters of recommendation, including one from a current supervisor, from individuals who attest to your abilities to lead in a district like the Harmony Union School District
A complete, well-written Edjoin application, including responses to all writing prompts
A Screening Committee consists of local educational leaders. Each Committee member will rate each application against predetermined criteria. The Committee will then meet with the advisor to come to consensus on a slate of candidates to recommend to the Board for interview.
Top candidates will be interviewed May 10th. Finalists will be invited back for a second, more personal interview, the next day. Approval of an employment agreement will be at the May 21stRegular Board Meeting.
A significant reference check will be conducted involving individuals listed, unlisted, current, and past who are familiar with the candidate’s professional history. Finalists will be asked for the names and contact information for additional references.
A private investigation firm will conduct a professional background investigation regarding the finalist. This will include a criminal background check, Megan’s Law check, and Department of Motor Vehicles check. The candidate will be notified by the advisor in advance of initiation of any investigation. Only a summary document is provided by the investigators to the Board president.
SALARY AND CONTRACT TERMS
The District is prepared to offer a multi-year contract with a competitive salary and benefit package, depending on the qualifications and experience of the top candidate. The current benefit package includes the district paying for 100% of the Kaiser mid-Plan for a single employee, 95% for two family members, and 90% for more than two family members. Prior to contract approval on May 21st, 2019, for a July 1 start date, the top candidate must provide proof of citizenship and bonafide copies of documents substantiating academic coursework and degrees.
Board of Education
Steve Bair, President
Mariah Lander, Clerk
Henry Goff, Trustee
Charlie Laird, Trustee
Yuri Koslen, Trustee
Any attempt to contact board members about the position will disqualify candidates from applying.
Harmony Union School District is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Complete applications must be submitted at EDJOIN.org by 4:00PM on April 26, 2019. The EDJOIN application process requires:
• Uploading a brief letter of introduction indicating the qualifications and experiences you have had that will benefit the Harmony Union School District
• Uploading a current resume
• Uploading at least three (3) current letters of recommendation, including one from current supervisor, from individuals who attest to your abilities to lead in a district like the Harmony Union School District (submitted letters should be no older than three years)
• A complete, well-written EDJOIN application, including responses to all writing prompts